Workshop – Right Plants in the Right Places: Hands-On Nature-Smart Garden Design
Learn the practical principles of nature-smart garden design and apply them to your own garden
Days and Dates: Saturday and Sunday, December 1-2, 2012
Time: 9A — 5P both days
Address: CoWorks Space in Santa Monica, free parking nearby (reservation pending as of October 9, 2012)
Additional info: Deadline for registration is Monday, November 19, 2012. No exceptions due to space rental reservation cancellation deadline.
This workshop makes well-considered garden design tangible and concrete if you want to learn to apply sustainable garden design principles to your own garden. You will be using a proprietary method for garden design that has been used in private practice for clients.
The Challenge of Earth-Friendly, Beautiful Garden Design
Nature-smart garden design is sustainable because it saves you water, money, time, and effort while meeting the needs of the plants. In stark contrast, unsustainable gardens cost owners more money out of pocket in water and in maintenance/upkeep, not to mention plant losses.
The core principle of nature-driven garden and landscape design is simple but not easy: Meet the horticultural needs of the plants first and foremost instead of solely striving to force the plants to meet your needs and wants. Healthy, happy plants in turn translate to a great looking garden with fewer pests to get rid of and fewer problems for you to solve or chronic conditions to manage. It’s easier and less expensive to design to prevent problems and in anticipation of common garden and landscape problems than it is to fix an entrenched problem after the fact once you have it.
Most landscape architects have never rolled up their sleeves and planted, let alone maintained, a garden. A garden designer’s or a landscape architect’s design on paper is only that – a pretty design that is a snapshot of your prospective garden and it wasn’t until very recently that any of these professionals gave a hoot about sustainability. It is one thing to read and talk about design, another thing to learn about how to do it in a classroom, and yet another thing to actually implement a design on the ground.
How This Workshop Is Different from Other Garden Design Classes (and how you benefit from those differences)
Without a strategy for implementation, i.e. the sophisticated “how” that brings the design to life, a rendering is just an imaginary picture. Worse still are garden designs that look nice but that disregard application of ecological literacy. Through this workshop, you will have an attractive, usable garden design that also has a practical function as a planning tool like an architect’s blueprint that will help you when you are ready to implement the design. This workshop is where the proverbial rubber meets the road because we will also share how to bring your design to life so that you can enjoy lasting beauty and long-term value. Whether you want a drought-tolerant garden, a native plant garden, a rain garden, a bird and butterfly garden, or primarily edibles, we will cover seasonally appropriate site preparation, sourcing plants and seeds, how to plant correctly for optimal plant health, irrigation options, troubleshooting, and what to expect during the establishment phase, i.e. starting with planting up through the first 3-5 years, and more. You will receive practical, specific tips during the course of the workshop but of course, the more specifics we know about what you want and about your garden site, the better we will be able to help you by tailoring workshop content.
Your finished designs won’t just look pretty – they’ll make sense to you viscerally because you will understand the rationale and “eco-logic” behind the design and the recommendations we make, which doesn’t happen when someone creates a design on your behalf. Imagine your sense of pride and personal accomplishment from having designed your own garden at a tiny fraction of the cost of hiring a professional to do the work for you. When you take home the design, you will have learned the whys behind plant selection and intelligent placement, which is actually more valuable than the design itself – once you learn the skill of nature-smart thinking and practice it consistently, you will be able to solve your own garden problems sustainably.
This nature-smart design approach we will be teaching will also work if you have a garden or landscape with existing plants or gaps but you feel stuck about what to put in the spaces between the plants you want to keep. Whether you have a front/back yard or just a deck, patio, or porch, this workshop can help you.
Take advantage of this workshop now! We only teach this workshop twice a year in spring and fall and this is the last nature-smart garden design workshop for 2012. We recommend that you compare this workshop with other garden design classes such as those offered through UC Extension for content and value. Class size is strictly limited so that everyone receives maximized, personalized attention and help.
What to Bring to the Workshop:
- A notebook and a pen! This workshop will be jam packed with information.
- Lunch on both days or money to buy lunch individually. However, if a majority of attendees are interested in this option, we may have a potluck lunch on Saturday instead.
- Prior to the workshop, your homework assignment is to take soil samples one to two weeks prior to class, read the results, and bring the soil type results to class. Of course, if you have an area that only allows for container gardening, disregard this requirement. If you are working with soil, it’s important to do this step accurately because your results will strongly influence and ultimately contribute to the success or failure of your garden design. We will send you instructions on how to take the samples and identify your soil type(s).
- If you are planning on having an edible garden, you will need to collect soil samples per Timberleaf Soil Testing’s instructions and pay for a basic soil & trace mineral test ($63) or their comprehensive test package, which includes the basic soil and trace mineral tests plus particle size analysis which determines the percent of sand, silt, and clay in the soil sample ($85). If you opt for the latter, you do not need to collect soil samples per #3 above. Please collect and send the soil sample well in advance of the workshop in order to give Timberleaf enough time to send you the test results in time for the workshop. You’ll need to bring the results to class.
- If you have a copy of the Sunset Western Garden Book or other helpful plant ID books with pictures, please bring it/them for reference.
- If there are particular plants that you like or want to have but not sure will thrive in your garden, bring in your list or pictures of desired plants. Although scientific names are preferred for positive identification, common names will be fine if you know them. If you need plant ID, please bring pictures that show the whole plants, preferably in flower or with seedpods or fruit. We would like as many visual cues to identify plants positively.
- You may also take pictures of gardens or bring pictures from magazines of gardens that appeal to you.
- Business cards – you never know who you will meet! We love it when people make new connections through our workshops.
Important registration information:
- Bilingual instruction in English and Español with real time translation is an option but must be requested at the time of registration.
- Registration limited to a maximum of 24 persons.
- Because we are teaching a proprietary method for garden/landscape design, this workshop is closed to landscaping/gardening professionals and to those who are planning to enter the landscape trade professionally. You will be required to sign legally binding non-disclosure and non-circumvention agreements.
- Cost of the workshop is $475 per person and includes one (1) site analysis visit in person and the cost of a large scale custom printout of your garden site that serves as the template for your design. If you have a porch, deck, or other constrained space that offers no access to open soil, the cost of the workshop is $300 and still includes one (1) in person site analysis and a custom large scale printout of your garden site. You will be superimposing your customized design on the template with my and my co-instructor’s help. In some ways, constrained spaces offer greater design challenges compared to open yards. You may now register securely online using either of the PayPal buttons at the bottom of the page. You do not need to have a PayPal account to send payment and your financial information is secure. In the section for notes, please include 1) the e-mail address you regularly use for correspondence and 2) your phone number.
- You may also register by snail mail. Please make checks payable to Wendy Talaro and send to P.O. Box 330665; Pacoima, CA 91333.
- Cancellation Policy: No refunds unless the instructors initiate class cancellation. If you cannot attend a workshop, we will offer a one-time credit for the next workshop. If you do not attend the next workshop, you will forfeit your payment.
Registration for folks with access to real soil: (Deadline 11/19/2012) [wp_cart:Registration:price:475.00:end]
Registration for folks with space constrained areas & no access to open soil: (Deadline 11/19/2012) [wp_cart:Registration:price:300.00:end]
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